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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Going Electric in the Age of Cheap Gas

Posted December 14, 2010 12:01 AM by dstrohl

Of the many unusual and innovative vehicles on display at the first Symposium on Low Pollution Power Systems Development in 1973 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it appeared that just three were functional enough to provide rides around the parking lot for the besuited attendees. While two of those three came from General Motors, the third, the Exide Battery Sundancer, came from a former race wrench who built some of the most powerful American cars to compete in professional racing and had by then already been profiled in the February 1972 issue of Mechanix Illustrated.

Though the article states that Bob McKee's Sundancer (here called the McKee Mark 16 Electric Commuter) came about when the business of building endurance race cars began to dry up in the late 1960s, McKee said he was actually rather busy at the time. Instead, the idea for the Sundancer came directly from Exide executives, who called up McKee in about 1968 and asked him to build them an electric car, presumably to allow Exide to sell more batteries.

Building on his race car fabrication experience, McKee hit upon the idea of using a backbone chassis in an electric car not only for strength and simplicity, but also as a place to store the heavy battery pack. As McKee argued in his 1972 patent application for the design of the car (3,983,952), the backbone design results in a low center of gravity as well as a low profile for reduced wind resistance, the latter important for extending the range of the car. And by loading the batteries onto a slide-out tray, maintenance is made simple and drained batteries can then be easily swapped out for freshly charged batteries.

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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 323
Good Answers: 2
#1

Re: Going Electric in the Age of Cheap Gas

12/15/2010 12:03 PM

Here in the UK Lotus is producing a hybrid sports car, and by 2015 they will have a 100% electric vehicle that uses H2, at the moment here in Britain the government pays 25% of the price of any electric cars?

Xanasax

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Anonymous Poster
#2

Re: Going Electric in the Age of Cheap Gas

12/15/2010 12:26 PM

There is a 1977 Citroen in a museum somewhere in New England .Its color

orange/white and its patent for the One model that they made of it.

It has a real attractive body style but was banned here because it used gas

in its front wheel suspension or somewhere in the shocks.

it also had this cadillac style dashboard panel that was so involved it resembled a

jets,not a cars .Im almost sure it was designed in Europe.I wonder if the electric

race car could be brought back using the 1977 Citroen cars body style.ds

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: Going Electric in the Age of Cheap Gas

12/15/2010 3:02 PM

I made reference to a 1977 CITROEN 2CV(AMPHIBIOUS) its LOCATED in NASHVILLE,TN,(not New England)37210 .at the LANE MOTOR MUSEUM.origin France.It was water sealed and filled with foam.for floating and had a propellar that retracts.the suspension can be raised and lowered by changing the air pressure.4 wheel drive ,manual not automatic(bad news).Air is blown into the engine and out via the air scoops on the hood.ds

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